Originally written for a friend. There’s a crick in my neck, and I think that’s what wakes me—the discomf ...
Hell Hath No Fury
Thunder rumbled in the distance, overshadowing the slide and click of metal on metal. The tears that coursed down her face mingled unnoticed with the heavy rain as she made one last check through her gear. It had taken months of work and planning to get her to this point, and Rian was determined. Nothing would go wrong, not tonight.
Her hands moved without thought, years of practice leaving her mind free to wander down the path that brought her here, to a deserted warehouse rooftop, at night, in the middle of a thunderstorm. Fitting, that the weather outside matched the inside of her heart, since it was heartbreak that had started it all. The pain of Brenna’s cataclysmic betrayal still burned, but that was nothing compared to the raging inferno of hate she held for those that had driven her to it.
I just don’t love you anymore! Why can’t you understand that?! Her lover’s words echoed in the dark, a monster that rent her heart further with every remembrance. After ten years and countless jobs together, they’d had a better personal and professional relationship than most married couples. So she knew all the words to hurt her most. Psychotic killer, raging lunatic… She’d shouted all her worst fears, had shocked her so completely that she didn’t see through the act, the lie. In all the years they’d been together, she’d never used their mutual trust against her. In their business, honesty and truth were essential, and she never saw it coming.
Stupid, lovely idiot, Rhian thought. The tears and rain continued to fall, creating an odd, comforting rhythm as it mingled with the sound of her weapons. She could still see her soft grey eyes, knew too late the truth she hadn’t said. I can’t stand to be around you anymore had really meant I screwed up, and I’d rather break your heart than risk getting you involved – or killed. If only she had trusted her, included her! She might have made it out alive.
But she hadn’t. Brenna paid for her mistakes with her life, and Rian’s heart had died with her.
Rian had spent the months since tracking down the truth her dying lips had finally confessed. She’d gone on the hunt, pushed the pain so deep that it became fuel to fire her revenge. Brenna had loved that about her, the ability to move everything aside and concentrate on the job at hand. Like now, as the rain became heavier and the thunder rumbled closer. The storm was good, it would put her targets on edge, give her an advantage. And it hid the tears, the ones she couldn’t stop, that she didn’t want to stop. The tears Brenna had earned, in the end, when she’d come back to her. Dying has such a way of clarifying life, she’d said. I love you. I’ve always loved you. She’d been crying too, as she told Rian what she’d done. How she’d taken on the wrong job, for the wrong people; how she’d gotten in far too deep. She knew they’d come for her, and she loved her too much to see her dead.
Now, in the dark rain, on a strange rooftop, Rian took a deep breath and carefully packed away all her memories of the woman she’d loved, of their life together. No way to know if she’d survive the night, but one thing was certain. The bastards that had taken Brenna from her wouldn’t see the dawn. By the time her last weapon slid into place, Rian had turned her heart to steel. And then a smile crept onto her face, surprising her. What was it Brenna always used to say to her before a job? Hell hath no fury like a woman. Well, tonight she’d be the Fury. For Brenna, and for her own shattered heart.